Last edited 06 Dec 2019



[edit] Introduction

Competence is a measure of the ability to do things well. Thus, a competent person is someone who generally does things to standards that are judged favourably by others.

Competence can sometimes be ascertained on the basis of historical actions which can be projected into the future to give an idea of how someone might perform under a specific set of circumstances. So, on the basis of past work completed, an architect may be expected to do well (and so show competence) on a similar new building project.

Competence may also be demonstrated by accreditation or qualifications, or by comparison with industry standards.

Competency and success usually go hand in hand: exhibiting competence is a vital characteristic for progression in any career. However, competence can be subjective – what may appear competent to one person may seem incompetent to another.

[edit] Incompetence

The opposite of competence is incompetence which is a tendency not to do things well. An incompetent person generally makes mistakes, gets things wrong or does not perform to the required standard.

However, neither competence nor incompetence need be permanent and even generally competent people can at times show signs of incompetence – and vice versa.

[edit] Hackitt review

Following the Grenfell Tower Fire, the Hackitt Review found that competence across the construction industry was patchy and called for the creation of a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) comprising Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive to oversee better management of safety risks in high-rise residential buildings across their entire life cycle.

For more information see: Hackitt review of the building regulations and fire safety, final report.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again